Client Testimonials

Meet the Coaches
Beginning Runners
Client Testimonials
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Amy Bane: I started working with Kelly in the fall of 2014 when I joined her women's running group. I had tried to run on my own what felt like dozens of times, with no consistent success,  so I was secretly pretty worried that I wouldn't be able complete Kelly's course or a 5k. I was so wrong!  I had a blast in Kelly's group!  I learned a lot of helpful information every week about running form, gear, stretching- you name it. I loved the camaraderie of running in a group. It was super motivating. I made sure I did my weekday running "homework" so that I could keep up with the group on the Saturday runs. I felt challenged but never exhausted. Kelly focuses very much on injury prevention. With her help, I was finally able to run injury free. I was so excited when I completed the 5k at the end of the 8 week class! 

Just to make sure I stayed motivated and kept training properly, I continued having Kelly coach me with monthly running plans and I joined her women's running group. These ladies are funny and supportive.  It has been a joy working with them all. And we do work!  Again, it's challenging enough to be something to feel really good about, but never overwhelming. Kelly is the consummate professional about giving her clients just the right workload to produce amazing results but avoiding pitfalls. I can't believe it's true, but with her help, I've done several 5k's, a 10k, and I'm just starting a half marathon program. All in just over a year of running!  I feel like I've left behind my former couch potato ways for good!


In August 2015, it finally dawned on me that running alone wasn't going to help me drop the extra weight I'd managed to accumulate over the past decade.  I knew I was going to have to get serious about conquering my sweet tooth and my Diet Coke habit if I wanted to avoid the health consequences of being overweight. I had tried to lose weight on my own, and had even tried a group weight loss program, but never had much success. Kelly's approach to nutrition and eating habits was the perfect fit for helping me change my ways. Her basic premise that filling up on reasonable amounts of nutrient dense foods has been the key that I had been missing in all my previous weight loss attempts. Instead of dieting and deprivation, she helped me focus on gaining new habits. She spends time one-on-one, learning about what your typical eating habits are like, and what your environment is like at home in terms of support and obstacles to healthy eating. One of my favorite elements of her nutrition coaching was our trip to the grocery store. I had no idea before we went how much healthy, awesome food I had been overlooking was right there in the store!  She helped me really expand my repertoire of healthy recipes and easy to prepare foods. Her approach of adding healthy habits, a few at a time, really clicked for me. By the end of the twelve weeks of Kelly coaching me, my almost daily, extreme cravings for junk food were really manageable. That's not to say I never have a day of eating more than I planned to, but I bounce right back to eating right. With Kelly's guidance, I've lost over 20 pounds, and feel positive I can lose the rest that I should to be at a healthy weight. 


Kandy Cockerill: A year and a half ago, I couldn’t run to the end of the block. In May 2013, I started with the Coach Bails Women’s Running Group and that’s when my life started to change in a positive direction. I bought into the program and followed every plan that Kelly wrote for me; I learned the importance of running and training the right way; and I formed some new friendships too!  Kelly has supported me through the whole process by believing in me, teaching me, and pushing me when I wanted to be pushed. She communicates with her clients and makes everyone’s experience unique. She has taught me so much!  I am now able to apply the lessons that she has given me to training with a large running club. I have recently moved to a city and the group runs consist of several hundred people while the break out groups have between 5 and 30 runners. There are coaches present with a plan, but you have to have a solid understanding of your own running ability in order to do the break out groups. I was worried being a fairly new runner, but Kelly had prepared me more than I ever knew. I am actually helping others during the runs because of the knowledge that I have gained from Coach Bails Running programs over the past year and a half. She has taken me through seven 5K’s, a 10K, and a half–marathon since I started with her and I am currently training for my next half-marathon.  I owe my positive life change to the dedication and commitment of Coach Kelly Bails. Thanks, Kelly!


Jen Kassem: My running journey began in May of 2011 when I decided to join the Coach Bails Beginning Women’s Running Group.  I had never been a runner, but was looking for an activity to help me in my efforts to lose weight and become healthier.  After completing the program and running my first 5k, I knew that I wanted to keep running.  I decided to work individually with Coach Kelly to train for my first 10K.  Training with Coach Kelly has been such a positive experience for me!  Her plans are tailored to your goals, schedule, and individual needs.  She is professional and very dedicated to her clients.  Any questions that arise during training will be answered thoroughly and promptly.  She has also taught me so much about proper running form, pre and post run stretching, nutrition, and what to wear for running in weather of all types.  While working with Coach Kelly over the past 3 years, I have completed numerous 5k’s, (3) 10k’s, a marathon relay, a 15K, and my 1st Half Marathon in October 2014!  I have also lost 30lbs. and have gone down 5 pants sizes!  I feel great and have so much more energy!   I have also been able to accomplish all of this with no injuries!  Working with Coach Kelly is definitely one of the best things I have ever done for myself!  Whatever your running goals are, Coach Bails Running will get you there!


Megan Buschkopf: After working with Coach Kelly through several marathon training cycles, I've been able to PR in distances from 5K to the marathon. Even more valuable to me, however, is Kelly's support in all areas of my running: nutrition, strength training, and through the emotional ups and downs of a training cycle. Her supportive, honest, and well-informed feedback has kept me injury free and ready to tackle my goals.

Julia Williams: I've been working with Joe since I started training for my first marathon in fall 2010. After running my first half marathon earlier that year, I was injured and burnt out. I wanted running to be a sustainable, enjoyable and rewarding activity and knew I needed help with that. Joe's training plan gave me focused, effective workouts that prevented over-training and burn out. I surpassed my goal for my marathon running 10 min under my Boston qualifying time. Moreover, I became a much stronger, smarter runner. I continued with Joe throughout 2011 and had a incredibly successful year, taking over a minute off my 5K time and nearly 6 minutes off my first half marathon time, qualifying for the New York marathon. In addition to avoiding injury, Joe has helped me improve my form and pacing ability. Joe is always supportive and encouraging and continues to play a significant role in helping me achieve my running goals.

Meredith Shobe: I attended the Beginning Women’s Running Group in 2010. The class gave me the skills and confidence to run many 5K’s and a ½ marathon within my first year of running. I set my sights on running my 2nd ½ marathon but I knew I wanted to achieve more than just a “finish”. Kelly’s knowledge, motivation and encouragement proved effective as I set several PR’s at training races. My goal race, the 2011 Las Vegas ½ marathon was a success! I achieved a PR running the race 31 minutes faster than my previous ½ marathon. I am currently training with Kelly for my 3rd ½ marathon. I look forward to achieving the running goals I have set for 2012!

Coach's Note: Coach Kelly trained Meredith through 8 half marathons over a 2 year period. Meredith improved her half-marathon time by a total of 52 minutes and 40 seconds. Her average pace dropped by 4:10 min/mi.

Jeff Grider: Working with Joe has pushed me further than I imagined I would go with regards to my fitness. Over the course of one year, I went from a casual runner to a competitor, and I directly attribute this to being a student of Coach Bails Running. Joe helped me consistently improve, stay healthy, and remain motivated through 14 half marathons and two fulls from January 2011 to January 2012! Even as I transition to training for an Ironman, I'm continuing to work with Joe for his guidance and expertise. I'm very grateful to be working with someone who believes in my goals as much as I do!

Ricki Alford: Joe Bails has been a fantastic running coach and mentor. Since working with him, I have set new personal records in several races. He pushes me to achieve my best while helping me set realistic goals. Joe has helped me find a more efficient stride, worked with me through injuries and most importantly, helped me maintain a healthy level of fitness through pregnancy. He is dedicated to his clients and to the sport of running. He has become an essential part of my training.
Vance Martin: After running my first half marathon I decided I'd try a full.  Thanks to Joe I was able to finish my first full marathon, and along the way set some PRs on a half and a 5k.  I shaved 10% off my half pr.  Joe's been willing and able to work around an injury I had and several time commitments to make my training plans work for me.  He's been willing to meet to discuss upcoming races or to meet for track work.  When I began running I followed general plans which got me through an event.  With Joe's help I've been able to follow the plans and succeed at events.

Debra Studniarz: Coach Joe was recommended to me after running for a couple years and a few half marathons. I wanted to take on the challenge of a full marathon. Joe's coaching helped me gain confidence during speed-work and also helped me change the way I thought about my running. The coaching was very flexible, incorporating area races and runs with friends or family, as well as developing strategies for long runs. Really gave purpose to each mile, even if the purpose was "fun". The training and advice I received from Joe and Kelly I will use indefinitely, and the success of completing my goal will last a lifetime! A good value and a great investment.

Dona Abel: Joe Bails helped me become a better runner. I thought I was destined to always be the slowest runner in every group, but he proved that is not the case. I was able to and did get faster with his guidance. He was always available to answer questions and to give me encouragement before a race. He’s helped me become a more confident runner, which makes me a more confident person. Highly recommended!

Paula Boyd: I worked with Coach Kelly as an individual trainer for about 9 months, first to prepare for a 6 mile leg of a marathon relay (my first race ever) and then for a 15k. In January, I started running 1-minute intervals and thought I'd never make it. By September, I completed the 15k about ten minutes under my goal time. I am very busy with a full-time+ job and two small children, but Kelly met with me individually to discuss what I wanted out of running and came up with a training schedule that fit easily into my life and progressed at a very manageable rate. Having regular training assignments really motivated me to stay on track. Kelly provided encouraging feedback and great advice at every stage of training.  At the 15k, she even ran back and met me at the final mile marker and ran the last mile with me! I am so grateful to Coach Kelly for helping me gain confidence and experience the fun side of running.  Now I feel like there isn't any race of any distance that I can't set my sights on and prepare for.

Form Analysis

Jim Dobbins: I was lucky enough to meet Joe and work with him on problems I was having with my running form. He has excellent knowledge of both the physiology and the bio-mechanics of running and he was able to make slight changes in my form as well as to recommend more appropriate shoes. Since making these changes I am back to running with pleasure instead of pain.

Women's Beginning Running Group Comments

  • This program was exactly what I needed to motivate me to run consistently. I love how the running was broken down in the overview of training. The small increases in the run each week made the goal attainable and pressured me to keep up with the program. Really glad that I found a partner to run with, that helped with my success. The weekly form focus was very helpful for me too. The coaching was very helpful. Your advice about breathing, how to set a pace, and when it is ok to walk were instrumental to my success.

  • Never say never. This program will give the skills, the confidence and support to get you running. Awesome coaches and mentors. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in 8 weeks.

  • Your program let me know that being a "runner" doesn't always mean having perfect form and being fast. It means one foot in front of the other and moving forward. It means being slow is okay.

  • Wow, what an accomplishment! Thank you!

  • Great program! I would recommend to friends as an enjoyable experience to run with other women, flexible schedule, helping to stay fit, and fun way to enjoy Lake of the Woods!

  • I never imagined that I would enjoy running so much, but I am astonished at how much better I feel especially right after a run. I am so thankful for this program. I highly recommend it to everyone and look forward to the advanced class!

  • Coach Kelly and the mentors are so encouraging the program is just awesome. I would highly recommend this program to anyone.

  • The running program would not be as successful without the coaches and mentors! Thank you!

  • This was a wonderful running program for beginning runners! Both coaches provided wonderful support and were terrific running coaches. I always hated running, even when I was exceptionally fit. While I may not not be obsessed with running just yet, I look forward to each of my runs and will certainly continue to train for more 5k races. Thanks coaches Kelly and Joe for helping me to appreciate and even enjoy running!

  • Eight weeks ago I thought running for 1 minute and walking for 1 minute was going to kill me. On July 16 I completed my first 5K running the whole time. Thank you coaches and mentors I still can't believe I did it.

  • This program opened my eyes to what was possible. You really can go from the couch to completing a race with this approach!

  • I've never been able to get over the beginner's "hump" and enjoy running until I joined the beginner's group. In 8 short weeks I am running for 45 minutes and look forward to each run!!

  • As a person that didn't exercise at all before this program I wasn't sure if I would be able to complete it. I did all of the workouts and also ran the Fisher 5k without taking any walking breaks. This is a very good program for anyone that wants to do a 5k but not sure how to start.

  • This was such a great class! I have never been a runner and was able to run a 5K in just 8 weeks! And I plan to keep running!!

  • A strength of the program is having a group of women that are committed to the same goal, supporting each other, and having coaches to train them properly and offer advice.

  • Everything is great. Everyone was very supportive and helpful. I especially appreciated all of the mentors that came to run and help us out. It also made me feel more comfortable and confident that everyone was always stressing slower pace and individual capabilities rather than competitive running.

  • Pretty enthusiastic and the feedback in the training logs was great and informative. I loved the program!  Running with a group is an experience I would recommend to anyone.

  • Having a defined course of action to take the guess work out of how much is enough and to run with other new runners who are very supportive and encouraging.

  • I really enjoyed the group and plan to continue running on my own as well as continue to meet the others on Tuesdays. I think that having speakers give talks is a definite bonus! I hope you continue to offer this for beginning runners because it is a great program!

  • I had been thinking about running for a long time, but never found the motivation or confidence to start. The idea of running with a group of women who were starting from scratch just like me was comforting. I also liked that there were experienced coaches that were going to give me a concrete plan to meet my goal of running a 5K. I now feel confident and strong when running. I am also showing my children that being active is important both physically and mentally. The Women's Beginning Running Group has really changed my life. Brittany Mahannah (2010 participant)

  • The runs were challenging for me, but having the group made all the difference. I know I would have given up had I been trying to run on my own! I decided the first night of the group to do whatever was outlined for me to do.  I did that, and one year later, I'm still running! I'm not fast, but I am committed. Running, while still challenging for me, has given me some discipline that was missing in my daily life, and I am thankful to the WBRG for getting me off to a good running start. I can't say enough good things about the program. Dawn Quinley (2010 participant)

  • This is an AMAZING program with Kelly Bails and Joe Bails. Any women interested in trying running out, this is the program for you!! Never thought I would be able to run a 5k. I am now well beyond that and I actually enjoy it! Great exercise and stress reliever with a great group of women paired with two wonderful and supportive coaches that help you through every step of the way. Couldn't say enough about the Coach Bails Running Group!! Shannon Payne (2012 Participant)